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Why Orissa as a state can't develop?
Since the formation of the state in 1936, the state government has given utmost priority exclusively to the coastal Orissa region ignoring more than half of the population of the state inhibited in app. 73% of land area.

The Government of India's National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in a report has released the well-being index of India. The same tell about the quality of life in India. This report has mentioned that six districts of Orissa being in the list of worst twenty districts of India. Rayagada district ranks the worst in India followed by Kandhamal, Nuapada, Bolangir, Koraput and Bargarh, all in Western and Southern part of the state, are ranked at 4,9,10 & 19 from the bottom respectively.

It has been many years since the Government. of India has been pumping thousands of Crores as special budget for the welfare of these districts of Western and Southern Orissa through scheme like KBK. Then how is it that after so many years of huge money inflow into these districts there is no change in statistics? Who is accountable for this mishap? Is the Chief functionary of the state not responsible for this?"

Orissa, one of the poorest of states in the Indian union, is inhabited by more than 24% of tribal population concentrated mostly in North-Western, Western and Southern part of the state. Due to the negligence of all successive state governments, the development of these three patches are far behind the Coastal Orissa tract by any parameter even though these regions are full of minerals and natural resources.

In two occasions, during 1936 and 1948, these tribal dominated Western and Southern regions amalgamated into then Orissa division (precisely the present Coastal Orissa) from erstwhile Central and Madras presidency of British ruled India respectively to form Orissa state in the line of linguistic similarities. But, reality is, till now the native people residing in these regions don't know how to speak the state official language Odiya, which is practiced in Coastal Orissa districts in particular. Vast region of Western Orissa communicate in variants of Sambalpuri language (also termed as Kosli by some) and with numerous tribal languages practiced by the indigenous tribal population. This leads to poor enrolment in school which encourages Odiya as the medium of education and thus a high school dropout rate is seen in these regions. Students are forced to learn Odiya language in school which is different than what they practice in day to day life.

The differentiation between the then Orissa Division (Coastal Orissa) and the newly added Western and Southern regions is well maintained by all successive state Governments, while allocating funds and in developmental works.

Inhabited by app.50% of the state population (17,899,735 as per 2001 Census) and spread in 28.73% of total land of the state (44,355.4 Sq Km), this Coastal Orissa tract is given utmost priority by all the successive state governments and have been enjoying all sorts of developmental works in the name of Orissa. Where as a vast land with more than 71.27% of the total land area of Orissa state (109,992 Sq Km), and with a population of little above half of the state population is depriving basic needs.

It is pity that present state government too, has done nothing to minimize the gap between the coastal and the rest of Orissa in its decade long rule; but increasing it by concentrating every developmental activity in and around the state capital Bhubaneswar. During this government's tenure, all the national institutes for higher studies and research sanctioned by the central government are established or proposed to establish in and around Bhubaneswar. Due to this capital centric attitude, common masses refer the Chief Minister Nabin Pattnaik as the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation than the CM of the state.

In recent development except for the Central University, all the educational and research institutes of national repute, such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), etc awarded by Central Government for the entire state are located in and around Bhubaneswar. This has brought a distinction for Bhubaneswar as the only city in India to have an IIT, AIIMS and NISER at one location.

Central Government has also proposed to establish a National Innovative University (World Class), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), ESI Medical College and Hospital, Railway Medical College in Bhubaneswar, and another IIIT in Berhampur in Coastl Orissa, neglecting the rest state.

Existing and proposed Central funded National Institutes and Universities in Orissa:

Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. NIT, Rourkela, Dist. Sundargarh 1. IIT, Bhubaneswar
2. Central University, Koraput 2. IIT – Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar Branch
3. Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, (IIHT), Bargarh 3. National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubanneswar
4. Food Craft Institute, Balangir 4. AIIMS like Institute, Bhubaneswar
5. IIIT, Bhubaneswar
6. National University, Bhubaneswar (proposed)
7. IIIT, Berhampur (Work on progess)
8. Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), Bubaneswar
9. Institute of Minerals and Material Technology, Bhubaneswar
10. Indian Institute of Mass Communications,(IIMC), Dhenkanal
11. Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack
12. Biju Pattanaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI), Puri
13. Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Bhubaneswar
14. Eastern Regional Language Centre for CILL, Bhubaneswar
15. Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar
16. Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
17. Regional Medical Research Centre, (RMRC), Bhubaneswar
18. Central Fisheries Institute, Kousalyaganga, Bhubaneswar
19. Regional Research Laboratory,Bhubaneswar
20. National Research Centre for Women in Agriculture (NRCWA), Bhubaneswar
21. Ocean Science and Technology Cell (OSTC), Berhampur
22. National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR), Cuttack
23. National Institute of Design (NID), Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
24. NIFT, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)

If you consider the allotment of health facilities in the state the picture of disparities done towards the rest of the tribal regions of the state gets crystal clear. There is just one state run Medical College, viz, VSS Medical College & Hospital, Burla in Sambalpur for the entire Western Orissa, there are state run SCB Medical college in twin cities of Bhubaneswar - Cuttack , MKCG Medical College in Berhampur, a city just 179 Km from Bhubaneswar by Road and 165 Km by train.

Mahandi Coal Field Ltd. (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, a Central Government entity which has operation in Western as well as Central Orissa, is too establishing a Medical College Hospital in Talcher Town, 150 Km from state Capital Bhubaneswar, with state government's active persuasion. The defense dept has proposed to set up a medical college in Baleswar, another town in Coastal Orissa with a distance of 198 Km by Road from Bhubaneswar.

State government has recently proposed to upgrade Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar to a Medical College with a hoping budget of 32.5 Crores. It is also been proposed to set up Government. Medical College & Hospital in Baleswar where as the state government is trying to establish 3 Private Medical Colleges in backward tribal dominated Western Orissa in PPP mode since last 15 years through Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) with a financial grant of 5 Crores each. There is no progress seen in establishing these Medical colleges in these backward regions of Orissa.

So, a question instantly arises in mind, "Why private Medical College & Hospital for poor tribal region of Western Orissa, who can't afford a full meal a day and central and state funded Government. Medical Colleges & Hospitals for Coastal Orissa?" Is this not pure discrimination?

Central and State sponsored Medical Institutions in Orissa

Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. VSS Medical College, Burla, Sambalpur 1. SCB Medical college, Cuttack
2. Medical College under Central University, Koraput 2. SCB Dental College, Cuttack
3. MKCG Medical College, Berhampur
4. Capital Medical College, Bhubaneswar
5. AIIMS, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
6.ESI Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
7. Medical College under National Innovative University, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
8. ECO Railway Medical College, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
9. Medical College by MCL, Talcher, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd
10. Medical College, Balasore (Proposed by State Government.)
11. Medical College, Balasore (proposed by Defence dept)

Points to notice that Balangir, Kalahandi, in this back ward Western Orissa, many times have created news in national media for starvation deaths. Low-income people in these backward districts can hardly afford the cost of good health care even for their children who suffer from early death, under nutrition and anemia. As against the State figure of 65 infant deaths per 1000 life births, district like Kalahandi in the Western Orissa had 119 infant deaths.

Prevalence of undernourishment among children is also high in these tribal dominating districts. The health situation is really gloomy if we look at maternal death rates. Women in these households work hard at home, in the fields, bear children and do not get the medical attention while giving birth to children.

Occurrence of malaria remains a threat to the people in the tribal areas. As many as 158 blocks in tribal districts, which contribute 70 per cent of the malarial cases, suffer the worst. Sometimes outbreak of mysterious diseases in these regions takes a heavy toll of life. Poverty and deprivation leave very little money with people to spend on the treatment of diseases and illness.

The state government is earning maximum revenue from these under developed tribal belts through mining and industries. When the industries are exploiting and polluting the region, are opening health care units and educational facilities in Coastal Orissa with state government's active persuasion. The recent Vedanta group promoted World Class University in Puri- Konark Road with a budget of 15,000 Cr and in an area of 6,000 Acre sets the perfect example. Vedanta Industries Ltd has established two Aluminum plants in Western Orissa, the refinery unit and captive power plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi District and smelter plant with captive power plant at Jharsuguda, where as it is opening its 100 bed capacity burn and trauma care unit in Bhubaneswar, which is at a distance of 400 Km from Jharsuguda and more than 450 Km from Lanjigarh.

Hundreds of crores rupees received from central government in the name of KBK has become a source of exploitation for the state government. The head quarter of the KBK scheme is at the state capital Bhubaneswar, far away from the problems people are facing in their every day life. This century of exploitation by all successive state government since the formation of the state in 1936, towards these tribal pockets has forced them to shout for a separate state of Kosal comprising 11 districts and a sub-division of Western Orissa. Also, the Maoist guerillas are spreading in rest tribal districts in rapid speed taking advantage of this. These entire exploitation stories remind the colonial era and raise some fundamental questions about democratic rights in India.

COMMENTS (45)
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Sanjib Karmee
What is a dialect and what is a language? It needs lot more energy to understand this. Most of the European language use Roman script but they are different. The central part of India use Devnagri script but the languages are different. Script does not always make a language different. People think Dutch is dialect of German but it is not. It is a completely different language. A language is different if it has separate grammar, dictionary and moreover it should be spoken by a larger-mass. It literature needs to developed by a dedicated writers. At last it should be recognized by the law-makers of India to be a full fledged language. It will take a lot of time for coastal people to learn and speak Kosli properly. Similarly, it takes a lot of practice for WO people to read, write and speak Odia properly. That’s why the school drop out rate of student is very high in western Orissa. In western Orissa students often try to translate things from Kosli to Odia; so the cleaver student always does well whereas others lag behind. Do the students from coastal Orissa translate from one language to other language to learn Odia in primary school? Odia singers can not sing Kosli song properly. When they sing it always sound funny; because they never pronounce right as the use of halant does the trick. I guess you might be singing Rangabati in Odia way. So let us respect each others language and culture. If we will respect others then people will respect us.
ABCDEFGH
All that I've argued for is that Bhubaneswar is the best place for world class educational institutions because of available infrastructure in Bhubaneswar, and because these institutions need to be in close vicinity of each other for cross-fertilization. <b>I have given enough examples about the location of institutions outside Orissa, and I have shown the homepages of NISER and IIT Bhubaneswar also stating that Bhubaneswar location is a big advantage</b>.<br><br> So far I have not seen a single counter-argument by A S Das and others. Only childish accusations of "bias" towards Bhubaneswar when <b>I am <i>only</i> interested in seeing hard-earned world class institutions succeed and be able to compete with other ones outside Orissa</b>. <br><br> I agree that Navin Patnaik has not been paying enough attention towards western Orissa.<br><br> I agree that more revenue should be dedicated towards the backward districts of Orissa.<br><br> I agree that there is no need to establish railway factories or othe industrial activity should not be in Bhubaneswar (or Choudwar), but can be developed in western Orissa where there is more mineral wealth.<br><br> I agree that it is unfair on the people of western Orissa if the region is not brought at par with coastal Orissa. <br><br> However, there are <i>many other ways</i> to develop Western Orissa without affecting the locations of world class institutions. For example, western Orissa can be nurtured as the <i>industrial cum manufacturing backbone</i> of Orissa while Bhubaneswar metropolitan area becomes the <i>commercial cum educational backbone</i>. That way both regions will complement each other very well.<br><br> <b>I state unequivocally that am not unsympathetic towards the plight of western Orissa. I am stating so in the clearest possible terms and I hope that it is understood by A S Dash and others.</b>
Sanjib Karmee
It is a pity that people are worried as Rourkela speaks Hindi. For such people there is more reason to worry. It is not Rourkela but Jaharsuguda, Sambalpur and Bargarh also speaks Hindi. As people are getting educated they are sending their children to Hindi and English medium school as these are considered the language of this era. Slowly Hinglish is emerging as the national language of India. It is time for the regional language lovers to save their language or else it will be like Brajboli. The language and culture of BBSR is also changing. People of different region will bring their language and culture to form a hybrid culture. Slowly BBSR will also start speaking Hindi, English and Hinglish. The silk city Berhempur is influenced by Telegus both culturally and linguistically. If we can not tolerate the multilingualism of Rourkela; then we should recall all Odias who do not know Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu etc and residing in Maharastra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra. As we are living in India we need to accept the multiculturalism and multilingualism. A group of writers from western Orissa wring in Kosli. But they never ask why Rourkela, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda are speaking Hindi. In fact the language of western Orissa is much more close to Hindi because of the use of Halant. Tomorrow, if Kosli will become a full-fledged language and a Kosal state is formed, do you think all Odia lovers will commit suicide. Nothing that sort will happen. People will move on.
Sanjib Karmee
PNS | Bhubaneswar The Naveen Patnaik Government often said that the Union Government is neglecting the State and not sanctioning adequate funds. But the developmental funds in reality are remaining unspent and are returned. With funds especially in the most backward district of Kalahandi remaining unspent has exposed the failure of the State Government. From this, it can be ascertained how successfully developmental programmes for the poor are being implemented. Kalahandi, one of the most backward districts of the State is always in news for wrong reasons like deaths due to starvation and selling of children which have created a stir in the country. The KBK region was formed because of this. Many announcements were made but many people are still leaving the district to work was migrant labourers. The Central Government had sanctioned funds for implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Over Rs 51.42 crore, including the previous year’s unspent money was given to the district. But due to the failure of the district administration Rs 20 crore has been returned and the Government in not bothered and claimed that as it is a labour-oriented scheme, money was returned due to less requirement of labour. While thousands of people are leaving the district the Government says there is requirement of labour in the district and nobody was made accountable for the unspent funds. In such a situation who is to blame, the State or the Centre, asked intellectuals.
ABCDEFGH
Dear Mr. A. K. Dash, <br><br> 1. Even the IIT Bhubaneswar homepage used to list the major advantages of IIT's Bhubaneswar being good air, rail and road connectivity, metropolis location, and vicinity to other educational institutions. Go to NISER home page and you will find that the same reason is also listed: <br><i>NISER's permanent campus will be located at Jatni in the Khurda District, about 4kms from the Khurda railway station which is about 20kms south of Bhubaneswar Railway Station and about 25kms from the existing Bhubaneshwar airport. It is about 2-3kms away from the proposed site for IIT, Bhubaneshwar.</i> <br>NISER homepage also says: <br><i>Bhubaneswar is city of about 8 lakh population with wide boulevards and ancient temples blending modernity with heritage of India. Bhubaneswar is well connected by train and by air to all metros. There are many historical monuments and scenic spots not far away from the city. <br>NISER will utilize its privileged position....</i> <br><br> 2. You also mention Vedanta University. Do you think Vedanta University would have agreed to that, or moved Vedanta University to another state? All the new and upcoming private institutions (DA-IICT, Nirma University, ISB, Ambani Universty, and satellite campuses of American Universities are in major cities. Why? Do you think Cambridge University will prefer to set up a campus in Vidarbha or Pune? <br><br> 3. Why are you so interested in world class institutions? Are you so disconnected from the actual needs of the poor people there? Do you think that an IIT will alleviate the starvation of the people in Kalahandi? Isn't it clear that better irrigation, roads, rail access will improve their plight?
Devarsi Negi
With great pain I beg to diagree with the author,it gives me immence pain to read article like this. why do people from our(western) region has to blame Costal orissa for everything. what choice a state govt. have while deciding any central institutes. It requires some basic infrastructure which unfortunately not available in western orissa, so it is natural that all these will go to the places which has the basic infrastructure. I do not buy the argument that it is deliberately done, it could be out of compulsion. Lets face this guys, we are not yet ready for all these.Rather I will go one step ahead & will add that & what is the use of all these for a common man of our region. What I am trying to say is, there are much more bigger concern than these. Lets address all those, if those things can be done all these will automatically come. What is needed now is to set up the basic infrastructure like Roads, Rails, Water, Health, School, Colleges, lets have all these at least minimum levels than other things will follow automaticall. Now the points is who should do it, you will agree most of this can be done by private parties, i.e. ourself & for the rest, lets fight it out with the authorities. In both the counts we are lacking. Complaining & blaming other is not going to help us at all. It is our home & we only can build it. If not we have to face the music for ever. If god will also be in the helm of affair of our state, than also the story will be same. Lets accept the responsibility & take charge of ourself. Regards Devarsi Negi Sosia, Dharamgarh, Kalahandi
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